Terrell Owens spurned the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and now Canton is returning the favor.
Owens – who last month announced he will not be attending the August enshrinement ceremony in Ohio after earning his nod for the class of 2018 – will not be introduced at the Gold Jacket ceremony on Friday night, Aug. 3, nor will he be announced the following night at the induction ceremony, according to the Talk of Fame Network.
“The focus is on the guys who are there,” Hall of Fame executive director Joe Horrigan told the website.
Owens joins Sandpoint’s Jerry Kramer, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher, Brian Dawkins, Bobby Beathard and Robert Brazile as a member of this year’s class. After the group was announced in early June, Owens responded with a statement declining his invitation to attend the induction ceremony. Then earlier this month, Owens revealed on Twitter that he would be making his Hall of Fame speech Saturday afternoon at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, his alma mater.
The speech starts at 3:17 p.m. EDT, which precedes the ceremony in Canton.
“After giving it much thought I have realized just how much I want to celebrate what will inevitably be the best weekend of my life at a place that means so much to me,” Owens wrote in the Twitter statement. “I’m proud to be a Moc, and I’m honored to share this experience with my family, friends, teammates and fans at the place that provided me an opportunity beyond high school and where I truly began to find myself as an athlete. Thank you to everyone who has supported my celebration decision. I look forward to seeing you all in Chattanooga. Getcha popcorn ready!”
Owens’ gold jacket will be mailed to him first thing Saturday morning, according to the Talk of Fame Network. The site adds that Owens won’t be “absent altogether on Hall-of-Fame weekend. When the entire class is the subject, his name will be included . just as his image will be included on all depictions of the Class of 2018.”
Owens finished his 15-year NFL career with 15,934 receiving yards, which currently stands as the second-most all-time. Larry Fitzgerald, who is returning to the Cardinals for 2018, trails Owens by fewer than 400 yards.
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